Conferences and Symposia

Jumble of books, artifacts, musical instruments, and textiles in a paneled room with a stone fireplace and stained glass window.

The Center for Premodern Studies hosts conferences and symposia supporting the scholarship of our community and the professionalization of our students.

Premodern Colloquium

Each February, the Premodern Workshop and the Center for Premodern Studies (CPS) host a Premodern Regional Colloquium that brings scholars from colleges, universities, archives, and museums in the Midwest together to discuss key issues and methodologies in premodern studies, network, and explore potential collaborations.

We call the Premodern Regional Colloquium an “unconference” and emphasize minimal preparation and maximum engagement. Colloquium schedules can include panels, workshops, museum and archive visits, and opportunities to socialize and meet new colleagues. By cutting across chronological, disciplinary, and institutional boundaries, we explore common threads that unite a diverse range of scholarly work and build new relationships.

The 2023 Premodern Regional Colloquium will be hosted at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus, West Bank, February 9-10, 2023.

International Congress of Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo

Every May, we send scholars to the International Congress of Medieval Studies (known as ICMS or Kalamazoo) at Western Michigan University’s Medieval Institute. With nearly 3,000 attendees, it is one of the largest academic events focused on the Middle Ages, and panels range from Tolkien to Timbuktu. In addition to academic panels and workshops, there are performances, book exhibits, and various “medieval sundries.” 

Scholars from CPS attend as panelists, workshop organizers, and speakers. CPS regularly provides transportation for graduate students from UMN to attend and participate.

The Center for Premodern Studies annually sponsors panels at Kalamazoo. Calls for papers and details about these panels are shared on our News page.

Diasporic Legacies of the Mediterranean

The University of Minnesota is hosting the Spring 2023 Mediterranean Seminar Workshop "Diasporic Legacies of the Mediterranean,” April 27-28. Eric Calderwood, associate professor of comparative literature & Spanish at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Julia Cohen, associate professor of history at Vanderbilt University, will be the keynote speakers.

This seminar explores how diaspora and diasporic communities and their cultural production can be read from the perspective of Mediterranean studies, addressing questions such as: How does the Mediterranean past—real and imagined—shed light on contemporary concerns around immigration, citizenship, and the allocation of natural resources? How are diasporas such as those caused, for example, by the expulsion of the Jews from Castile in 1492 or of the Moriscos in 1609 remembered? What impact do they continue to have in the modern era? What other diasporas, coerced or voluntary, have roots in or implications for the Mediterranean and scholars of Mediterranean studies?  

“Diasporic Legacies of the Mediterranean” is sponsored by the  Center for Premodern Studies, the Center for Jewish Studies and Amos S. Deinard Memorial Chair in Jewish History of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, the CU Mediterranean Studies Group, and the Mediterranean Seminar.